An upgrade to facilities at The Point Eastleigh, together with improved accessibility, has been made possible with £367,800 funding from Arts Council England.
The popular arts venue will receive the money over a three -year period for a capital development scheme that will create a space for young people and make the building more accessible for visitors with particular access needs. Along with partnership funding from The Point’s operator, Eastleigh Borough Council, the money will also pay for digital and technical improvements that will allow The Point to engage with a wider range of audiences.
The upgrade will include: dressing room and toilet refurbishments, with adaptations for visitors with additional needs; upgrades to the Creation Space rehearsal area, acoustic improvements to the foyer, and a hearing loop and access review of all public spaces. It will improve The Point’s overall visitor appeal, creating a more inviting welcome and increasing footfall.
The improvements will also enhance The Point’s status as a flagship destination in Eastleigh town centre, boosting civic pride, increasing participation in The Point events and promoting use of the bar and café to local residents. They will also make The Point a more environmentally sustainable venue.
Arts Council England Small Capital Grants were set up to help ensure that organisations have the right buildings and equipment to deliver their work and become more sustainable and innovative businesses. The Small Capital Grants, which range between £100,000 and £499,999, allow organisations to consolidate and improve existing arts and cultural facilities and equipment, make energy efficiencies and develop digital technologies.
Eastleigh Borough Council Leader, Councillor Keith House, said: “The Arts Council England award is a significant boost for The Point. As well as improving access and facilities for young people, it will make the building a more attractive destination for local communities and ensure that it is fit for purpose for future years. We are grateful to Arts Council England for this new funding, which will help us create a building that befits The Point’s status as a National Portfolio Organisation. “
Sacha Lee, Artistic Director of The Point, said: “This is hugely exciting! Investment from ACE will enable us to consolidate our commitment to the young people of Eastleigh in creating a dedicated studio theatre that belongs to them - a place to play, create, dream and perform, with a performance programme to match. Our multiple spaces are constantly brimming with activity and we plan to literally unlock and reveal what’s going on behind the scenes by developing our digital platforms. As well as undertaking a full access review, we will be lighting up The Point from the outside - no-one will miss where or what The Point is as we think to the future and into the 21st Century.”
Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England South West said: “We are pleased to award The Point with a grant towards the renovation of their studio and development of their digital output. Creating a space for children and young people and improving the accessibility of the premises allows the organisation to produce more creative work that will reach even more people in Eastleigh and beyond. This funding helps them build resilience and become a more sustainable and innovative business.”
More information on The Point and its current programme is available at www.thepointeastleigh.co.uk